When it comes to evoking cosmic imagery, it seems there's two ways to go. On the one hand is the traditional kosmische route, which tends to emphasise the optimistic, majestic sides of the universe. Then there's the kind of stuff Adam X has conjured through his Traversable Wormhole and ADMX-71 monikers: seething solar flares, lifeless moons and decaying satellites. In other words, the cold and desolate aspects of space. The latest 12-inch from Function, Obsessed, plots a middle orbit between these two extremes, resulting in a kind of bleak beauty.
The title track's intro and outro are crucial in fostering this atmosphere. Like streaks of light cresting a planetary horizon, synth tones arc across the spectrum, rippling as they go. They prove the only slices of melody in what's essentially a rhythm track; albeit a patient and quiet one. It's tempting to label the insistent bleeping that echoes through the track's expanse as melodic, but ultimately, like those in Oscar Mulero's "Ceres," they end up moving the feet, not the heart.
SCB's edit is also all about rhythm, but he gets a little more dramatic, shifting the arcing synths to the mid-section and releasing his carefully built tension in great quivering waves. Substance's remix is incredibly spare, but manages to achieve just as much. Listening to it is like watching the mechanisms of a Rolex at work. It's intricate, precise, circular, mesmerising. Here, the satellite transmission-like beeping is the focus, Substance shifting slowly from faint, infrequent blips to something near squealing. "Near" being the key word: his refusal to deliver an obvious payoff seems wholly intentional, and the resulting sense of stasis is magnificent.
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Tracklist: Function - Obsessed A Obsessed
B1 Obsessed (Substance Remix)
B2 Obsessed (SCB Edit)
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